Cycle Savvy: The Smart Teen's Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body
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Cycle Savvy: The Smart Teen's Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body

4.4 21
by Toni Weschler

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Should I be concerned if my cycles are rarely 28 days?
Why do I often feel so emotional before my period?
And how can I know when my period's really going to start?!

If you're a teenage girl, you've probably asked yourself these questions and many more. Now Cycle Savvy has the answers that will help you understand what is


Should I be concerned if my cycles are rarely 28 days?
Why do I often feel so emotional before my period?
And how can I know when my period's really going to start?!

If you're a teenage girl, you've probably asked yourself these questions and many more. Now Cycle Savvy has the answers that will help you understand what is really happening with your body on a day-to-day basis. It's the first book specifically designed to teach young women about the practical benefits of charting their cycles. Explore the fascinating world of ovulation, fertility, and why you even have periods at all! And learn all about the body signals, mood changes, and other signs that accompany your cycle. With charming illustrations, fun brainteasers, confidence builders, sample charts, and first-person tales of experiences that every girl can relate to, Cycle Savvy takes the mystery out of your amazing body.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Cycle Savvy

The Smart Teen's Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body
By Toni Weschler

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Toni Weschler
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060829648

Chapter One

Your Amazing and Awesome Body

do you realize that you actually started your life inside your grandmother? Huh? How is that possible? Well, the very egg that eventually became you was originally inside your mother's ovaries when she was but a fetus inside her own pregnant mother! Another way of saying this is that every woman who is pregnant with a female fetus is carrying a part of her potential grandchildren in her body. What? Keep reading.

Let's go back to when your mom was just a fetus. Female fetuses already contain all the eggs that they will ever have. Practically speaking, that means that when your mother was a fetus inside her mother, she had already developed one of the eggs that eventually became you. So if she was 35 years old when she had you, and you are now 16, the cells inside of you today that were once part of the egg that became you would be about 51! The best way to help you grasp this fascinating concept is to simply fill in the lines next to the illustration on the following page with the appropriate names.

One of the major differences between male and female anatomy has to do with when the sex cells (or gametes) are developed. As you just read, girls are born with all the eggs they will ever have. Yet the eggs don't mature until puberty, when about one egg percycle is released. This continues all the way through menopause (the time when a woman stops having periods altogether). Boys, on the other hand, don't develop sperm until adolescence, but then continually produce sperm every day until they die.

your External Reproductive Anatomy

If you have a brother close in age to you, you may remember taking baths with him as a toddler and being perplexed as to why he had this "thing" on the outside that you didn't have. He might have even gleefully pointed down there while boasting about it. Even from a very young age, boys in our society are usually socialized to believe they possess a treasure in which to take pride, whereas girls tend to grow up embarrassed about what they have "down there." Well, that's got to change, here and now.

As you know, you have a vagina while boys have a penis. No big surprise there. But what you probably didn't know is that, in terms of pleasure, your vagina is actually not the female counterpart of his penis--your clitoris is (my what is?).

As you'll see, your clitoris (pronounced kli-'tor-s) is your "special thing." So even though your vagina is one of the things that makes you a girl, your clitoris makes being a girl, well, more fun! There will be more on this a bit later (in Chapter 6), but for now, it's back to your vagina, which should be a healthy pink color, like the inside of your cheek. It has three distinct functions: It's a passageway for the flow of menstrual blood, a flexible muscle that surrounds a penis when a woman has intercourse with a man, and a birth canal for an emerging baby during childbirth.

What protects your vagina are your vaginal lips. They vary in size, shape, and color. Books always refer to two sets--the inner lips, or labia minora, and the outer lips, or labia majora. But in reality, the only ones that are truly protective and even remotely resemble lips are the inner ones. The outer lips are really not lips at all, but more of a soft hair-covered padding.

The first time I caught a glimpse of vaginal lips was when I was maybe three or four years old. I remember squatting on the floor in the bathroom while my mom peed, and being completely confused by what I saw between her legs as she stood up from the toilet. From that angle, they looked really strange.

--Brie, 19

You can imagine how a toddler might find many things in her young life confusing or frightening if she has never seen them before. Luckily, as children get older, things that were once scary can often become really intriguing and beautiful with familiarity. So it is with vaginal lips.

Now, you wouldn't wear a dress to the prom without viewing it from every angle, would you? Yet, in a certain way, you wear your external anatomy every day. Aren't you just a tad curious? The only way you are going to know what I've been talking about these last few pages is if you actually look down there yourself! I realize that sounds pretty extreme, maybe even a little intimidating, but consider this: a boy sees and touches his penis every time he goes to the bathroom. Perhaps that's why boys seem more comfortable with their bodies and sexuality. Why can't you, a girl, feel the same? Now you can!

You can build respect for your body by becoming more familiar with all its important parts, including those below your belly. So read the next three pages, then find a private place, and grab that mirror. It's time you get to know your own body as well as boys know theirs!

Exploring Down There

Take Out That Mirror and Get to Know Yourself

Find some time after a shower or bath when you are clean, have complete privacy and enough time to relax, and explore what makes you, you. Did you know that the external appearance of your sexual anatomy is as unique as your face? It's true. So the sooner you become familiar with your body, the easier it will be for you to develop a real sense of wonder about it.

Use whatever type of mirror is most comfortable: a handheld or even a wall mirror, as long as it allows you to see yourself in bright light while you are seated in a comfortable position, legs open and bent at the knees.


Excerpted from Cycle Savvy by Toni Weschler Copyright © 2006 by Toni Weschler. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Toni Weschler, MPH, has a master's degree in public health and is a nationally respected women's health educator and speaker. She is also the author of Cycle Savvy, a book for teenage girls about their bodies. A frequent guest on television and radio shows, she lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Cycle Savvy: The Smart Teen's Guide to the Mysteries of Her Body 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Miss-Shopaholic More than 1 year ago
Okay the rating choses that B&N gave me aren't good. This is a amazing book!It can really set a girl straight!!!!It talks about pregency,Periods,and more.There are even excersizes about the book.Plus just like a teacher after each chapter the is a Quiz and I you fail you have to reread.I highly recommend it for girls 12+.It changed my Life!Plus even on the back it sayes "Girls 14 and up" even though It is approperout for 12 year olds.It cover boys to and ---.{you know}.even peer pressure.I would give it to a girl who is course about her body.You will be amazed about how detailed but easy to read this 205 paged book is.With bold print.PLUS stories by REAL GIRLS!I LOVEit!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its ok to miss a period here and there. I have had my period for six years and been having it every three months but you are probally getting used to your period and your body is adapting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We are getting older some day we are going to have to learn about it so why not now and plus it is apart of human nature the same things happen to all girls but different things happen to boy Like i said its just human nature
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What if you miss 2periods
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There isnt any secret food or execise or diet to grow breasts. U just have to be patient. How old ru? If ur only twelve or something dont worry. Your breasts will get bigger. Everypne's body changes at their own pace. I know how u feel. Its hard seeing all of your friends change when u dont change at all. But u just keep your chin up and be patient. Dont try and put anything in your bra to fake breasts. It will make u look stupid. Everyone will know its nor real. You are sad now because u dont have big breasts. But somewhere else a girl is sad because she has huge ones. Everyone is different and thats ok. Remember, its not whats in your t-shirt that counts. Its whats inside that counts. :) -Jenny, age 14. I want to read this book, if my mom says yes. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sample is TERRIBLE! It talks about the boy's private part call the penis and the vagina which is the girl area. This book is okay cause it is for girls and boys should read this sample too. If you like it girls AND boys respond back to Puppylover.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You open up the bbook, and tap on the middle of the screen. At the botttom, there should be a tab that says "more..." and you tap that. It should tell you what the book is about. Then you tap archive. That takes it off your nook, and you can unarchive it from your b&n account. If you want to completely delete it, go to your b&n account on your computer and clock delete. If you ever want it again, you will have to buy it again. Hope this helped!!!! Emmie:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got the sample for thus book and i dont it in my library anymore. Please help. :) Thank you so much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of information but its tellin the truth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny though with the mirror part
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What kind of problems?~Ben
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was NOT doing extra dance classes! I was stuck with my little brother who took my nook and hid it! I found it yesterday. I did post on the ballet book. Did you tell Emma the book?~Etalien
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi. I am here to answer questions about puberty. Breasts. Boys. And anything else about growing up. Reply to JUMP12
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Ummm it has some gross parts but...overall good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hyyy i luv dis macoroni!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book would be best for me so i cant wait to get this book if my mom lets me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty good book .Ithink it will help me to know what all of this stuff is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have 1cat and14fish in our 200gallon tank
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does anyone want to chat...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What book?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
About what? Re to girl 12